Whenever preparing a redesign of a room, you will need to break old habits and create something new.
Experimenting with the layout can help create an attractive yet practical room. Furniture from elsewhere in the house may work well in another room. Equally, items that have traditionally been in a room may not be the best items for that room.
Scan your home for furniture swaps. Make a list of the things you want or need in your room. Additionally look for tired or dated items that just will not fit in with your new vision that can be replaced with new items.
Use the room plan technique to see how different furniture groupings might look on paper before moving heavy items. Area sketches and online virtual room planners are helpful tools to help you produce well-designed, efficient areas. Create an available space sketch by calculating the height, width and period of an area with a metal tape measure. Utilise those dimensions to draw an open room design to scale on graph paper. Next, measure and sketch windows, doors, built-ins and other features being architectural. Note on your drawing plan where outlets and wall surface switches are situated. Next, cut an outline of your furniture pieces to scale on a separate sheet of graph paper. You can now freely arrange your cut out furniture pieces on your plan without the back-breaking effort that would be required to move the real furniture pieces!
Here are a few tips:
- Balance – a room where most of the furniture is squeezed into one area looks unbalanced. Draw an imaginary line down the center of the room and try to balance the furniture placed in each half.
- Symmetry – this can help bring a designer feel to a room. For example, if an armchair is put to the left of the fireplace, position another to mirror it on the right-hand side. You may not have the space, furniture or inclination to follow this rule completely, but it can inspire and give a classy look to the whole space.
- Traffic – consider the most frequently used items in a room and how easy it is to access them. In a kitchen for example, this principle is known as the ‘golden triangle’ and decides where to place the cooker and refrigerator in relation to the sink. The TV, sofa, door and fireplace can create similar traffic paths in a living room.
- First Impressions – it seems odd to consider that inanimate objects can create a welcome, but it’s true. If the view from a doorway is blocked predominantly by the backs of chairs and cupboard sides, a visitor won’t be tempted in. Similarly, rows of furniture pushed against the walls seem uninviting while angled groups look welcoming and cosy.
- Convenience – a room must ultimately be adequate for the function it performs in the household and be comfortable for its residents. It may be the ultimate style statement, but if you can’t see the TV or eat comfortably at a table, something has gone wrong!
- Colour and Style – is the room full of clashing colours and styles or is it all tied together with a number of colours and a uniformed matching style? A room with furniture from a number of different periods will always look thrown together rather than carefully planned.